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Pack a Wallop

Textbook cases: Your label-conscious kids are thinking about school bags. But don't panic: These colorful packs will take the weight off your shoulders.

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It's back-to-school time again, your seventh-grader-to-be is pleading with you for a Prada or Kate Spade bag -- and you know she (or he) is not getting one. But there's hope. Plenty of inexpensive packs bridge the gap between the statusy grown-up satchels and those dull nylon things your kids tired of several grades ago. Here, a selection both boys and girls could be persuaded to love -- at prices that might convince you to pick up an extra for yourself.

Packs with lots of space (and pockets for pens, calculators, and cybertoys) don't have to look like expedition gear. We love an urban-chic version from Citi Sport ($8.97 at Kids Are Magic). For a splashier look, try an eye-catching orange Old Navy bag with cool pockets for Walkman and water bottle ($18.50). Poodle's roomy red sling pack has a handy cell-phone pouch that'll hold candy for kids who're still dreaming of StarTACs ($51 at Morris Brothers).

Girlier packs, intended for preteens, are so cute we'd use them as gym bags. The best: a hip denim number from Roxy ($40 at Marsha D.D.). For less frilly tastes, American Eagle Outfitters has trekking-style versions, complete with plenty of mesh pockets for dirty soccer clothes ($49.50).

Kids Are Magic, 2293 Broadway, near 82nd St. (212-875-9240); Morris Brothers, 2322 Broadway, near 84th St. (212-724-9000); Marsha D.D., 1324 Lexington Ave., near 88th St. (212-534-8700); American Eagle Outfitters, Pier 17, 89 South St. (212-571-5354 or www.ae.com).

Picks of the Week

Intermix is filling a basement with leftover summer stuff from Tracy Feith, Katayone Adeli, Jimmy Choo, and others, and taking 50 to 70 percent off it all. 125 Fifth Ave., near 19th St. (212-533-9720); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon-Sat. 11-8, Sun. noon-6; 8/18-9/4.

For Eyes is taking $10 off select kids' frames and another $10 off eye exams, for back-to-school season. Children's frames are usually $60 to $160. 420 Lexington Ave., near 43rd St. (212-697-8888); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Thurs. 9-8, Fri. 9-6, Sat. 10-5; 8/15-9/30.

Warren Edwards's pricey shoes (pictured, right), including plenty of seasonless leather and alligator styles, are mostly 40 percent off, from $240 to $600. 107 E. 60th St. (212-223-4374); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Sat. 10-6; 8/14-8/26.

See, a modern-furniture-and-accessories store, is taking up to half off many floor models and at least 10 percent off new orders. Prices are from $68 for a Philippe Starck juicer to $5,000 for a leather sofa. 920 Broadway, near 20th St. (212-228-3600); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Sat. 10-7, Sun. noon-6; 8/19-9/5.

Peacock Alley's sale means 20 to 50 percent off a huge selection for bed and bath. Egyptian-cotton towels are $17; queen duvets are $215 and less. 334 E. 59th St. (212-751-7005); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 10-6, Sat. till 4; 8/17-8/31.

The Joan Michlin Gallery is clearing tons of ornate gold jewelry (some is in the collection of the American Craft Museum). Discounts start at 30 percent and go to 50 percent the final week. Prices are usually $300-$9,000. 449 W. Broadway (212-475-6603); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Sat. 11-7, Sun. noon-7; 8/17-9/24.

Totem's colorful contemporary furniture is taking 20 to 50 percent off at the sale. Prices are from $185 for stools to $2,600 for a large sofa. 71 Franklin St. (212-925-5506); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 11-7, Sat.-Sun. noon-6; 8/12-8/16.


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